Warcraft, Choppers, and Pirate Day


If you have a Horde character in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft MMO and have not played in a while, then you have two reasons to do so today—Pirates and Choppers.

First as a result of winning the eight-part mini-series Azeroth Choppers by dominating the Alliance in online voting, all Horde players are being awarded a free Horde Chopper. To get the Chopper however, players must log into the game sometime between today and Sept. 30th.

The bikes will be delivered to players when the game’s fifth expansion, Warlords of Draenor (WoD) goes live on Nov. 14th.

This is the latest in a flurry of cleaning house or preparation announcements made by Blizzard recently amidst the myriad of tid-bits coming out surrounding the open access to the WoD PTR. Subscribers have learned they will now be able to customize their face beyond initial player, or “toon”, creation. In other news reported earlier, these also include quicker ways to gear up their toons on Timeless Island, and to level boosting and an easing of requirements for the legendary cloak questline.

There seems to be a lot more information being offered by developers to subscribers with the impending release of WoD than there was leading to up the current expansion Mists of Pandaria. Most of this is to do with better lines of communication.

Interaction between players and Blizzard is at an all-time high and is not as edgy as it was in the past. Perhaps it is a change in personalities, or maybe Blizzard made some publicity changes to effect this change of culture, but it has worked, and after 10 years the player base is as vibrant, be in smaller, as ever.

The result has been players feeling more involved in the inner workings of the game and its direction. No doubt a large part in this cozy new relationship is the many ways fans voice their opinion seeming about every little change.

“We hand out questionnaires at BlizzCon and we try and keep our finger on the pulse of the community,” game developer John LeCraft said to fans recently at a live Q&A at DragonCon in Atlanta (earlier story). “Certainly we pay attention to past reactions like ‘what people thought of Pandas’, or ‘we want to go more hardcore WoW, more old school’, and that kind of thing. It is very important to us. I do that all the time in what I do, I love the details, love the feedback, and we use it.”

Thus Blizzard released a new content feature on their website Thursday, “Engineer’s Workshop: Engine Evolution in Warlords of Draenor”.

They mean business with feature, and the kid’s gloves of computer talk come off right from the start with a heads up from Blizzard: “What follows is a fairly technical explanation for a graphical-setting change related to anti-aliasing.”

While it is technical, there is nothing fairly about it to the vast majority of readers.

Writes Blizzard in conclusion: “The graphical future of World of Warcraft is a bright one, and the changes we’ve made during the development of Warlords of Draenor have laid the groundwork for us to continue making the game look better and better far into the future.”

In the meantime, while logged on to ensure you get the Chopper, or if you play Alliance, you are invited to Booty Bay today for the ingame holiday Pirate’s Day. There will be several small quests, including ones leading to achievements, and who doesn’t like to dress up like a Pirate for a Day anyway?

If that does not tickle your fancy, the Warlords of Draenor is PTR is still up. There is not much to do as far as new content, but players can see all the changes to their spell books and various user interface enhancements.